July 13, 2000
Police Internal Investigations Auditing Committee
July 13, 2000
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Denise Stone (Vice Chair); Robert Ueland; Ric Alexander; Shirlie Karl; Tou Cha; Les Frank; Leora Mahoney; Jose Martinez,
Citizen Advisors Absent: Dapo Sobomehin; Gene Bales; Kitsy Brown Mahoney; Robert Wells
City Staff Present: Capt. Bret Smith, Sgt. Suzanne Whisler, Sgt. Steve Bottcher, IAD Sgt. Jay Drum, IAD; Sgt. Jerry Jones, IAD; Michael Hess, PIIAC Examiner
Elected Officials Present: Mayor Katz, Commissioner Dan Saltzman
Media Present: Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch); Janet Marcley-Hayes (Portland Free Press)
This meeting was held in the Rose Room of the Portland City Hall.
Mr. Ford opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m. PIIAC Citizen Advisors and City Staff and members of the public introduced themselves. The minutes of the May 11 and June 8 PIIAC meetings were approved with minor corrections.
PIIAC #00-08 (IAD #99-094)
The Appellant was present. Advisor Jose Martinez presented this case which involved a police response to a 911 domestic disturbance made by the Appellant’s girl friend. The Appellant alleged that a Portland Police officer (Officer A) who arrested him threw the handcuffed Appellant to the ground and kicked him in the ribs. IAD classified the Appellant’s complaint as Use of Force regarding Officer A. After hearing Mr. Martinez’s presentation and the explanation of the Appellant, the Advisors discussed the case. Following the presentations of the Advisor and the Appellant’s and subsequent discussion, Mr. Martinez made a motion to accept the IAD
Mr. Martinez then made a motion that the Advisors affirm IAD’s finding of Insufficient Evidence with Debriefing. Mr. Ueland seconded the motion. The motion to accept the IAD finding passed unanimously (Y = 13).
PIIAC #00-10 (IAD #98-155)
The Appellant and the Appellant’s son were present. Advisors Leora Mahoney and Dapo Sobomehin withdrew themselves from this case because they knew the Appellant. Advisor Denise Stone presented the case. The Appellant alleged that a Portland Police Officer (Officer A) had used profane and abusive language to his son; used excessive force in arresting his son; failed to provide his name and identification number when requested; detained his son for an excessive amount of time; and falsely claimed that his son had a lock pick in his pocket at the time of the arrest, even though no lock pick was ever documented in the property evidence report. Ms. Stone also mentioned the extreme lack of timeliness in investigating this complaint, stating that the investigation took nearly two years to complete.
After both the Appellant and the Appellant’s son presented their view of what happened, there was a lengthy discussion of the allegations and the investigatory procedures.
The Advisor’s recommendations were as follows:
- Affirm the finding of Insufficient Evidence regarding Communication (profanity)
- Affirm the finding of Exonerated regarding Use of Force
- Affirm the finding of Insufficient Evidence on Procedure (failure to give name and identification number)
- Affirm the finding of affirm the finding of exonerated on procedure (excessive time of detention of a juvenile)
- Return the case to IAD for further investigation of the allegation that Officer A claimed to have found a lock pick on the person of the Appellant’s son, and then made no mention of a lock pick on the property receipt.
- Recommend that IAD review the timeliness aspect of this investigation and provide the Appellant and PIIAC within thirty days written explanation of each time gap in the investigation.
The Advisors agreed to consider the first four recommendations as a unit and to vote separately on the last two recommendations.
The majority of the advisors voted to accept the first four recommendations. Y=7: (Stone, Wells, Tou Cha, Ueland, Martinez Alexander, Karl) N=4 (Ford, Brown-Mahoney, Bales, Frank).
The Advisors voted unanimously to return the case to IAD for further investigation of the property allegation regarding the lock pick and for the IAD to provide a written explanation of the time gaps and delay in the investigation.
Advisor Brown-Mahoney stated on record that she would like the Police Bureau to write a letter of apology to the Appellant and his son.
PIIAC #00-12 (IAD #99-227)
The appellant was present. Advisor Robert Wells presented this case, in which the Appellant alleged that Portland police officers used excessive force in controlling him when he refused to obey a police order to cross a busy street in a lawful manner. He also alleged that one of the officers lied about the circumstances and failed to file his citation because he knew it was improper.
After hearing from the Advisor and the Appellant, the majority of the Advisors voted to affirm the IAD findings of Exonerated (Use of Force), Unfounded (Conduct); and Insufficient Evidence (Procedure). Y=9: (Ford, Wells, Mahoney, Tou Cha, Ueland, Martinez, Brown-Mahoney, Bales, Frank); N=4 (Stone, Sobomehin, Alexander, Karl).
Chairman Ford announced that the next meeting of the PIIAC advisory committee would be held on August 10, in the Hawthorn Inn and Suites, 4319 N.W. Yeon.
Advisor Denise Stone asked what had happened with the cases that PIIAC has returned to IAD for further investigation. Mike Hess stated that Captain Smith told the Monitoring Subcommittee that he would not investigate PIIAC #00-02 (allegations of perjury and disparate treatment) due to lack of merit. Mr. Ueland stated that PIIAC 00-06 had been settled by agreement with the complainant and her father. The remainder of the cases sent back to IAD are being investigated.
A member of the public stated her opinion that IAD is not following proper procedures in reaching its findings.
Another person stated that it would be desirable to have a citizen review body that is empowered not just to look at individual cases but also to review police training and procedures on an ongoing basis.
Another person stated that persons who are stopped by the police have the right to ask why they are being stopped, and officers should not question this right.
Dan Handelman commended IAD for using the finding Insufficient Evidence more often now when there is no way to determine the facts of the case. He also stated that there is a tendency by police to mistreat citizens who don’t pass the "attitude test."
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by
Michael H. Hess, D.D.S.